The Agora Clinic comes to Hurst! - Hurstpierpoint College

The Agora Clinic comes to Hurst!

During February we had the delight to host the CEO of the Agora clinic, Dr Carole Gilling-Smith, and her daughter, Michelle Gilling-Smith. They led a fascinating and well-attended talk on how the IVF process works, and who their clients are amongst other things. The students asked thought-provoking and considering questions, with the speakers commenting on how impressed they were with the student engagement and consideration of the discussions. The idea to bring a family planning talk into Hurst was to highlight how families can be brought about in many different ways for various reasons. Dr Gilling-Smith referred to both heterosexual couples struggling with conception, and Queer couples wanting to start a family; as well as those wanting to freeze their eggs for medical reasons, or an individual wanting to start a family. The idea of a person taking ownership of their fertility was refreshing and empowering for the audience. We hope to welcome them back to speak to parents at a future event.


Starting life in a test tube: is this our future? 

Dr Carole Gilling-Smith, an IVF specialist from the Agora Clinic in Brighton, takes a deeper look into how IVF, first pioneered in the late 70s as a technique to help infertile couples conceive, has become one of the fastest-growing medical industries. With over 8 million children born globally to date as a result of IVF, a new era of reproductive choice is now emerging which doesn’t just focus on treating infertility. This interactive talk will explore some of the newer ‘test tube’ techniques available to young people when the time comes for them to start a family, such as freezing your eggs or sperm to delay having a family or using donated eggs or sperm if you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The aim is to spark debate and discussion about all these topics and, if time allows, even put the future of cloning under the microscope! 

Dr Carole Gilling-Smith, MA (Cantab), FRCOG, PhD 

Carole is the CEO, Medical Director, and Founder of the Agora Clinic in Brighton, the largest Fertility Clinic in Sussex offering both NHS and private IVF treatment and renowned for embracing equality and diversity in fertility care. She is a Consultant Gynaecologist and Fertility Specialist and has a diverse research profile. in 1999, she pioneered the first UK fertility program for patients with HIV to have children safely and went on to develop programs to support those in the LGBTQ+ community. She believes that all individuals, whatever their ethnicity, health issues, sexual orientation, or gender identity should be professionally supported to find safe and fulfilling routes to parenthood. As a mother herself, She also wants to make sure young people learn about their future fertility health and options whilst at school.